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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Baseball Hall of Fame tracker 2022

DL from MN Posted: December 08, 2021 at 11:35 AM | 1073 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

How baseball changed forever in 1972: A timeline of MLB’s most memorable events, 50 years later

April 1
After player reps vote 47-0 with one abstention (Wes Parker of the Dodgers) in favor, the Major League Baseball Players Association goes on strike. Thus begins the first work stoppage in MLB history. Under the leadership of pioneering union leader Marvin Miller, the players strike over the issue of pension payments. The players want a 17 percent increase to reflect inflation over the prior three years and for owners to honor their commitment to cover medical costs. Owners refuse on both counts. Miller announces that players are willing to end the strike with a new pension accord or an agreement to take the dispute to arbitration. Since the union is still a relatively nascent entity—Miller became the first head of the Major League ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 09:49 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: labor issues

The oldest player who ever hit in a game

There’s not much written about it, unfortunately, but later in his life, while coaching for the St. Louis Browns, O’Leary came in to take an at-bat in the final game of the 1934 season ... at nearly 59 years of age. Here’s more from St. Louis Browns Historical Society & Fan Club President Ed Wheatley:

“The last time Charley had stepped to the plate in a MLB game was with the St. Louis Cardinals back in 1913,” Wheatley, creator of the film “A Baseball Legacy: Fans Remember the Browns,” told me. “But in the sixth inning of that September 30th game, he came up as a pinch-hitter for pitcher George Blaeholder and slapped a single. It was his only hit in his only at-bat in the last 20 years and 360 days.”

Nobody was or has been (or likely ever ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 09:44 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: old

How a heart attack led to Hall of Famer Greg Maddux spurning Yankees for Braves

Hall-of-Fame pitcher Greg Maddux set the record straight about picking the Atlanta Braves when he was a free agent in December 1992, and it sure is disheartening for the Yankees.

According to Maddux, he had decided to sign with the Yankees, but never received an official offer because a team executive suffered a heart attack while he was in New York to cement the deal.

This new development, which was shared by Maddux this week when he appeared on David Cone’s “Toeing the Slab” podcast, contradicts decades-ago reports that the legendary right-hander had turned down $34 million over five seasons from the Yankees to sign a five-year, $28-million deal with Atlanta….

“Oh, I was there. I went there to sign with the Yankees. I was ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 09:28 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: greg maddux, yankees

Remembering Roger Samuels

Roger Samuels was born to be a pitcher.

A lefty, long and lanky. Sturdy as they come. He didn’t back down, no matter what he was up against, whether that was Darryl Strawberry and Ryne Sandberg in the batter’s box, or the unrelenting cancer that he battled over the past few years.

Roger—who passed away Monday at age 61—always gave it his best, as a pitcher and a friend. His memory is going to stick with me….

Roger was invited to big league camp in 1988, where he impressed manager Roger Craig. “He has a live arm and he looks good,” Craig told a reporter in 1988 spring training. “He’s a kid that’s really coming fast.”

The “kid” was assigned to Triple-A Phoenix. And that July, with Mike LaCoss on the shelf due to an elbow injury, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 01:46 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Rosenthal: The pressure is mounting — MLB cannot afford to lose games this season

Sub required.

The question is, what will constitute a win for the union? The owners say they are unwilling to grant earlier free agency or increase revenue sharing among clubs. But say the union achieved the following gains:

• Higher minimums and thresholds.

• Adjustments in the draft to include a lottery of more than three teams and extra picks for teams that reach certain levels of performance.

• An increase in the percentage of players with two-plus years of service who are eligible for arbitration.

• And finally, though it seems to be generating little discussion lately, a minimum payroll threshold with penalties for teams that fall below the limit, similar to the way the luxury-tax threshold works at the top.

Maybe the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 12:28 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: labor issues

Why does Baseball Hall of Fame voting make people so mad?

Van Bavel’s second point is that the Hall is necessarily fraught — “it’s kind of like a shrine, that’s why they call it being enshrined in the whole thing. And so when you have sacred values, those are the types of things that become moralized for people.”

Between a confluence of suspected PED users on the ballot and a growing attention to off-field infractions, that’s never been more true. The Hall of Fame has become a forum for discussing not just what we value in a baseball player, but what can and can’t abide in a beloved public figure.

“So many of these candidates, you crack open their candidacy and it’s a referendum on one idea or another as to what defines a Hall of Famer,” says Jay Jaffe, a FanGraphs writer and ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 12:25 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Dodgers promote former MLB reliever Brandon Gomes to general manager as L.A. reshapes front office

The Los Angeles Dodgers have promoted former big-league reliever Brandon Gomes to general manager, the team announced Tuesday. Gomes had been an assistant general manager since 2019. The Dodgers had been operating without a general manager since Farhan Zaidi left to join the rival San Francisco Giants in Nov. 2018.

“He’s had such an incredible impact on everything he’s touched,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times. “He’s moved pretty quickly, but you could argue that he could’ve moved even quicker.” 

Gomes, 37, retired as a player in 2016 and joined the Dodgers the following year. He quickly ascended from pitching coordinator to director of player development to vice ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2022 at 09:52 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

What would a Mets trade package for Luis Castillo look like?

If the Reds decide to trade Castillo this offseason, a reasonable ask would be one top prospect who is also a top 100 prospect in baseball, and one other prospect inside a team’s top 10.

For the Mets, Francisco Alvarez and Brett Baty will be off-limits in pretty much any trade. So inquiring teams can forget those two.

That means that for Castillo, a fair offer from the Mets could be SS Ronny Mauricio (ranked No. 3 on SNY’s Top 20 Mets prospects list and No. 53 on the MLB Pipeline Top 100) and RHP J.T. Ginn (ranked No. 5 on SNY’s Top 20). And the Mets would need to sign Castillo to an extension to make that deal worthwhile.

One issue with the above could be the fact that the Reds have highly thought of SS prospect Matt McLain, who could ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2022 at 03:31 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: luis castillo, mets

Monday, January 17, 2022

If the Blue Jays truly believe in the dynamic duo of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, now is the time to get the deals done

Guerrero is now four seasons away from free agency — just as Tatis was when he signed last spring — but because he qualified as a Super 2 player, he will go through arbitration four times, while the Padres shortstop would have only gone through three. As a result, Guerrero is positioned to out-earn Tatis through their third through sixth service-time seasons. With a projected salary of $8 million in 2022, he’d very conservatively platform to $12 million, $16 million and $20 million over the next three years for an estimated total of $56 million — roughly double the $27 million Tatis is slated to earn over the same span.

Given those numbers, the question then becomes how to value the free-agent years portion of an extension, which ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2022 at 03:15 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, bo bichette, vladimir guerrero jr.

After 14 seasons, Francisco Liriano hangs up spikes

Liriano pitched his way to an All-Star selection in 2006, his first full season, and he was a mainstay of the Twins’ rotation for parts of seven season before being dealt to the White Sox at the Trade Deadline in ‘12 with free agency looming. He chose to sign with the Pirates, where he enjoyed the most successful years of his career.

In his first four seasons for the Bucs, Liriano was exclusively a starter, pitching under a 3.50 ERA in each season of Pittsburgh’s postseason-bound campaigns from 2013-15. He started the Pirates’ first playoff series since 1992 and secured the first postseason series win since the ‘79 World Series.

However, after a couple of half-seasons in Toronto between 2016-17, Liriano ended the ‘17 campaign ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2022 at 01:43 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco liriano

Sunday, January 16, 2022

The history of baseball’s revenue streams

This player-dominated league was in turn replaced by the owner-dominated National League of Professional Baseball Clubs (i.e., the modern National League). Ticket prices were standardized at 50 cents, or roughly $11.50 today. This was slashed in half when the NL merged with the rival American Association in 1891 (read: bullied them out of existence), although any lost revenue was more than accounted for by the new rules permitting teams to schedule games on Sunday and sell alcohol to fans — not to mention the immense benefit to the bottom line that a monopoly on professional baseball represented.

Ticket sales, concessions, and stadium merchandise: for most of the history of Major League Baseball, these were the main sources of revenue ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2022 at 03:51 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: radio, revenues, television

With Jon Lester’s retirement we ask: How do you define a Hall of Fame starting pitcher?

Put another way: Adjusting for the diminished frequency of starts resulting in wins, the equivalent of 300 wins in 1901-10 would be 185 starting pitcher victories, based on how pitchers were deployed.

Of course, “wins” and “losses” were already imperfect statistics for judging pitcher performance based on elements beyond the pitcher’s control, including offensive support and the defense behind him. Still, the shifting nature of the starting pitcher’s role, which will affect other cumulative stats such as WAR, innings, and strikeouts, will make it ever more difficult to use current Hall members as a basis for judging future Hall-worthiness.

“Are you going to judge all the modern-day pitchers based on the past or the present, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2022 at 03:50 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, jon lester

Friday, January 14, 2022

Source: HOF broadcaster Dave Van Horne retiring

Longtime Marlins radio voice Dave Van Horne is “effectively retiring,” according to a report in The Miami Herald.  A source confirmed the news to, though the club has not commented on the report.

Van Horne, 82, will not pursue work elsewhere, and he finishes his broadcasting career with 56 years worth of experience—53 at the Major League level, including 21 with the Marlins. He was the 2011 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the highest honor for a broadcaster. His signature home run call of “Up, up and away!” was a fan favorite….

Van Horne’s career began in the International League in 1966, where he broadcast Richmond Braves games for three seasons. During Van Horne’s years in Virginia, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 06:36 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Seiya Suzuki rumors: Boston Red Sox among 10-12 teams involved; OF still plans to sign after MLB lockout

Suzuki still plans to sign with an MLB team when the lockout ends, he told The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly in a wide-ranging interview. The outfielder, who was posted by the Hiroshima Carp, has heard recruiting pitches from 10 to 12 clubs and the Red Sox are among them. When the lockout ends, he will have about 20 days to decide where to sign.

“The Red Sox are known to have strong scouting links to Suzuki, and in an interview with a Japanese TV station earlier this month, former Boston pitcher Koji Uehara tried to squeeze an admission out of him that he was bound for Fenway Park,” Baggarly wrote.

Baggarly reports the Mariners and Giants have also been involved in talks with Suzuki and adds that the Dodgers, Padres, Yankees, Rays ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 04:15 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese free agents, seiya suzuki

Tampa Bay Rays bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez died by suicide; ‘Suffering in silence is not OK,’ family says

Tampa Bay Rays bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez died by suicide this week, according to the Tarrant County (Texas) Medical Examiner’s Office.

Ramirez, 28, died Monday near Fort Worth, where he attended high school. Ramirez played three minor-league seasons for the Rays and served as their bullpen catcher since 2019. He aspired to a coaching job in the major leagues.

Rays manager Kevin Cash called Ramirez an “incredible teammate and friend,” in a statement released by the team. “He brought so much passion and energy each day to our clubhouse and bullpen, and his love for the Rays and baseball was evident to all who interacted with him. He had the biggest heart and most infectious smile. Jean will be deeply missed.”

Ramirez died Monday ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 04:13 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, suicide

Melky Cabrera retires after 15 seasons

Cabrera began his MLB career 17 years ago as a member of the New York Yankees and spent five seasons in the Bronx before moving on to the Atlanta Braves and then the Kansas City Royals.

Cabrera was on the move again in 2012, joining the San Francisco Giants where he enjoyed the best season of his career, hitting .346 and making the National League All-Star Team where he won game MVP. However, Cabrera was handed a 50-game suspension one month later after testing positive for a banned substance and was forced to miss the rest of the season. He was MLB’s hits leader at the time of the penalty while the Giants went on to win their second World Series in three years.

The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, native then signed a two-year, $16 ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 01:20 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: melky cabrera

Breaking Down The MLB Top 100 Prospect Incentive Proposal

But because of that, including a Top 100 Prospects designation in the incentive seems unnecessary. To get a sense of how many players would be affected, we looked back at the rookie of the year balloting from 2010 to present. Of the 72 players to rank in the top three of Rookie of the Year balloting since 2010, 54 (75%) were Top 100 Prospects coming into that season. There were a few players (like Jose Iglesias and Jaime Garcia) who had ranked previously as Top 100 Prospects but not in the year before they landed ROY votes. For these purposes they are considered as not making the Top 100.

Of the 18 players who weren’t in the Top 100, five (Luis Garcia, Cristian Javier, John Means, Devin Williams and Jake Cronenworth) are still quite ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 12:42 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: labor issues, prospects

Bill James: Vagabonds and Homebodies

    Comparing two players of reasonably equal Hall of Fame credentials, one of whom moves from team to team and the other of whom stays put for most of his career, the player who is easily identified with one team is not only more likely to be elected to the Hall of Fame, but MUCH more likely to be elected to the Hall of Fame.  A player who hopscotches from team to team may be reducing his Hall of Fame election chances by 50% or more by doing so.

        Last week on “Hey, Bill”  a reader (Phil Dellio) suggested that the knockaround, move-around, get-out-of-town nature of Gary Sheffield’s career might be impacting his Hall of Fame voting performance.  Actually, he was making a slightly different point, beyond that one, but ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 10:45 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Travis Snider retires after 8 big league seasons

Travis Snider says he has retired after eight major league seasons.

“I have contemplated this day for for a while but the time has finally come for me to hang up the spikes,” he wrote Thursday on Instagram. “I have spent many waking hours and sleepless nights trying to find a way back to the show. How to fix my swing. How to be a better teammate and a leader. What I have learned through those experiences is what gives me the confidence in this transition to becoming a ‘former player.’”

Snider, who turns 34 on Feb. 2, last played in the major leagues in 2015 with Pittsburgh. He spent last season with the Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A farm team at Gwinnett and hit .174 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 138 at-bats.

...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 10:41 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: travis snider

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

How baseball Hall of Fame voting trends are evolving

Thibodaux said one of the most interesting things about the electorate is how it has decreased in size. To earn a Hall of Fame vote, writers have to be BBWAA members for 10 years. But a new rule established in 2016 removed voters who hadn’t been active members for 10 or more years.

“That really makes a huge difference, especially when most of the people who have left the electorate are the older voters,” Thibodaux said. “Certainly they are more anti-PED than the younger voters. They also don’t vote based on analytics as much. They tend to be smaller-Hall style voters.”

The number of voters dropped from 549 in 2015 to 440 in 2016. After the ballots peaked at 581 in 2011, they’ve resided between 440 and 397 since the rule change.

Since ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 12, 2022 at 12:03 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Jon Lester announces retirement after 16 seasons, three World Series titles

Three-time World Series champion and 200-game winner Jon Lester is retiring after a 16-year career.

Lester, 38, told ESPN that his body just isn’t up for the rigors of a major league season anymore. He made 30 or more starts 12 times during his career and 28 during his final season split between the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals.

His résumé includes five All-Star appearances and a 2.51 postseason ERA.

“It’s kind of run its course,” Lester said. “It’s getting harder for me physically. The little things that come up throughout the year turned into bigger things that hinder your performance.

“I’d like to think I’m a halfway decent self-evaluator. I don’t want someone else telling me I can’t do this anymore. I want to be ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 12, 2022 at 10:05 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: jon lester

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Orioles altering Camden Yards’ left-field dimensions amid ballpark’s historic home run binge

The Orioles hope their pitchers feel that way less often going forward. The club told The Baltimore Sun it began construction this week to alter Oriole Park at Camden Yards’ left-field dimensions to try to reduce the stadium’s propensity for home runs. The changes — the first to the size of the iconic ballpark’s playing area in two decades — will raise the wall’s height from 7 feet to about 12 feet and move it back as much as 30 feet, according to information provided by the team. Major League Baseball approved the adjustments, which will cover the area from the left-field corner to the bullpens in the left-center field.

The new measurements fall in line with other major league parks. As of 2020, Camden Yards’ 333-foot ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 11, 2022 at 05:55 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: camden yards, orioles

The Yankees need to end their outdated facial hair policy

Could the Yankees successfully defend keeping their policy? They certainly would have a case. Teams are permitted to have reasonable team rules, and the Yankees have adhered to these grooming ground rules since George Steinbrenner established them shortly after purchasing the team in 1973. Past practices and precedent matter and so, perhaps, an arbitrator would accept that a baseball organization has the right to control the hair length of an adult under their employ. But is this a case the Yankees want to risk? I am shocked they have not been challenged on this yet. And in this age, doesn’t it now feel like the crisis you can see heading toward town, so if you can avoid it, why not?

It is one thing for a free agent to sign with the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 11, 2022 at 05:26 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: sideburns, yankees

A month into lockout, MLB and players will finally meet for negotiations

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the meeting had not yet been announced.

MLB reached out to the union to set up the call Tuesday morning after spending the last few weeks working on a new set of proposals for a new collective bargaining agreement in hopes of reaching a deal that would not delay the start of spring training, which is scheduled to start Feb. 16.

MLB is not expected to address free agency or salary arbitration in their proposals, but discuss further ways to de-incentivize tanking among teams, including the elimination of draft pick compensation for teams signing free agents.

Major League Baseball has offered to increase the minimum salary from $570,500 to $600,000, which would rise to $650,000 and ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 11, 2022 at 02:24 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: labor issues

Finding Switch-Hitters Who Should Stop Switch-Hitting

According to the authors of The Book, it takes around 600 plate appearances against left-handed pitching for the platoon split of a switch-hitter to stabilize. Even with a 1,000-plate appearance minimum, many of the players above haven’t reached that threshold yet.

This isn’t the first time this question has been asked. Back in 2014, Ben Lindbergh investigated this same question for Baseball Prospectus. In that article, he used a heavy regression model to calculate the estimated performance of a switch-hitter who decided to go one way. Using his method, four players appear to be good candidates to stop switch-hitting: Ozzie Albies, Ian Happ, Tommy Edman, and Ketel Marte.

Using a regression model to estimate performance is a blunt way ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 11, 2022 at 02:24 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cedric mullins, ozzie albies, switch-hitting, yoan moncada

Monday, January 10, 2022

Apple in serious talks with MLB to broadcast games

Apple has had substantial talks about carrying Major League Baseball games next season, The Post has learned.

If a deal is finalized, it would represent a significant milestone in sports broadcasting since Apple has long been looked upon as a potential stop for major sports TV rights. One of Apple’s rival companies, Amazon, has already carved out an important piece of real estate in this space, as it will become the exclusive home of NFL “Thursday Night Football” in the fall.

A potential MLB-Apple deal would not be anywhere close to the magnitude of the NFL and Amazon — which is for more than a billion dollars per year — but MLB and Apple would be the entree of the technology behemoth into the coverage of top live sports.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2022 at 06:13 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: television rights

Eddie Basinski, the violin-playing second baseman for the Portland Beavers, has died at age 99

Edwin Frank Basinski, who played 11 seasons with the Portland Beavers and was the second-oldest former Major League Baseball player, died Saturday at a care facility in Gladstone where he had resided for the last seven years.

“The good side is, he lived 99 years and 65 days,” his son, Dave Basinski, said. “He had a full life, like Betty White. His spirits were good right up until the end.”

Basinski was often included on lists of the greatest Beavers of all time, and was once voted by fans as the “Most Famous Beaver.” In 2006, he was inducted into the Pacific Coast League Hall Of Fame.

During his time as a second baseman in Portland, Basinski had 87 home runs and 231 doubles. His career batting average was .258 over 15 minor ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2022 at 05:54 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: eddie basinski, obituaries

Which birth year produced the most WAR?

1. 1983: 1,369.3 WAR
Top 5 players by WAR: Zack Greinke (73.1), Justin Verlander (71.8), Miguel Cabrera (68.7), Joey Votto (64.6), Cole Hamels (59.3)

It wasn’t just a banner year for baseball births—1983 outpaces the next year on the list by more than 130 WAR, which is more than one Honus Wagner (130.8 WAR). The top five by WAR from this year are five active players with well above 50 WAR, and there are plenty of others with at least 35 WAR worth noting. The 1983 birthdays also include Joe Mauer (55.2), Dustin Pedroia (51.9) and Ryan Braun (47.1). And given that Greinke, Verlander, Cabrera and Votto are active, and Hamels has yet to retire either, this year’s total will continue to grow.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2022 at 03:11 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: birth year

Is Buster Posey One of the Best Catchers in MLB History?

Best catchers in baseball history: 1. Mickey Cochrane, 2. Johnny Bench, 3. Josh Gibson, 4. Yogi Berra, 5. Gary Carter, 6. Ivan Rodriguez.

Your opinion of that ranking aside, a follower proceeded to ask for my opinion of Posey. That prompted me to compare the 34-year-old’s career to that of Cochrane, who likewise was done at a relatively-early age. Cochrane played his last game shortly after his 34th birthday, an errant Bump Hadley pitch — this in the days before hitters wore helmets — having fractured his skull and rendered him unconscious for 10 days. Coincidentally or not, Cochrane had taken Hadley deep in his previous at bat.

Cochrane played from 1925-1937 — a high-offense era — and finished his career with an eye-popping ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2022 at 03:11 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey

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